News & Brews June 29, 2023

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Budget deadline nears with school choice at the center

The AP reports that Gov. Josh Shapiro is facing “perhaps the biggest test yet of his political skills under the Capitol dome” in “work[ing] to balance Pennsylvania’s politically divided Legislature” as the traditional June 30 budget deadline approaches. The top issue? Lifeline Scholarships. Republicans and Shapiro support them. (Most) Democrats and unions oppose them.

Poll: Trump leads in Pa. GOP primary, Shapiro gets high marks on I-95

A new Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday shows former President Trump leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis 49%-25% among Pa. GOP registered voters. The poll also shows President Biden getting 71% support among registered Democrats. On the state level, Gov. Josh Shapiro enjoys 57% job approval among voters. When voters were asked specifically about Shapiro’s handling of the I-95 collapse, his approval skyrocketed to 74%.

SCOTUS upholds Pa. law affecting where corporations can be sued

An unusual combination of Supreme Court justices on Tuesday upheld a Pennsylvania law that “requires corporations doing business in the commonwealth to consent to being sued in its courts,” the Inquirer reports. The ruling means corporations doing business in Pa.—even if they have headquarters and/or are incorporated elsewhere—can be sued in Pa. courts by anyone (even someone outside of Pa.). Several attorneys warned the ruling could lead to venue shopping, in which lawyers file lawsuits in courts they think will be more favorable to their case. Making up the majority in the 5-4 ruling were Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Sonya Sotomayor, Ketanji Brown Jackson and Samuel Alito.

Shapiro withdraws health secretary nomination 

The Post-Gazette reports that Gov. Josh Shapiro withdrew his nomination of Dr. Debra Bogen to be Secretary of Health. The decision came because Bogen did not have the Senate votes needed for confirmation. Bogen was among four of Shapiro’s nominees not yet confirmed by the Senate. The others are acting Secretary of State Al Schmidt, acting Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne, and acting Secretary of Human Services Dr. Valerie Arkoosh. The P-G notes, “The Senate has 25 session days after receiving the governor’s nomination of a cabinet choice to conduct a confirmation vote. If no vote is taken, the choice is considered confirmed. Wednesday was the 25th and final day for [these] three…. No votes were taken.”

The research on private school choice is in 

EdChoice has released its latest edition of “The 123s of School Choice,” which is “a comprehensive, up-to-date tour of the empirical research on U.S. voucher, tax-credit scholarship, and education savings account programs.” The research looks at 187 different studies. These studies consider test scores, parental satisfaction, school safety, racial/ethnic integration, and more. Check out the slide deck here.

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